Pritzker: White House Guilty Of 'Leadership Malpractice' Over Healthcare Access

WBBM Newsradio Staff
April 01, 2020 - 2:55 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday urged the White House to reopen enrollment for so-called Obamacare plans so that uninsured people can get healthcare coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Democratic governor said the Trump Administration has signaled it would not authorize a national “special enrollment period” allowing late additions to health exchanges. Pritzker questioned that position, given that millions of people have been thrown into unemployment and need insurance.

“This is leadership malpractice,” the governor said at his daily coronavirus briefing. 

He said Republican Trump’s continuing attempts to overturn the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — is a “special insult to the people of this nation at this moment.”

Illinois state government controls its own exchange marketplace. Illinois residents with a "qualifying life event" may sign up for coverage at Prizker estimates there are at least 800,000 Illinoisans who don't have insurance.

The first-term governor has been at odds with the Trump Administration over the distribution of ventilators and Personal Protective Equipment -- PPE -- to help medical practioners stay safe as COVID-19 cases surge at hospitals.

Also Wednesday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 986 new coronavirus cases, including 42 deaths. That takes the statewide caseload to 6,980, including 141 deaths. 

Illinois residents are under a "stay at home" order through April to help avoid spreading COVID-19, which can be deadly to elderly people and people with underlying health conditions.